Shanghai is known for its thriving art scene, and it’s one of the best places to see and appreciate contemporary Chinese art. From museums and galleries to art districts and enclaves, here are some of the must-see sites for art lovers in Shanghai.
Located at People’s Square, the Shanghai Museum is considered one of the best museums in China. It’s home to more than 120,000 artifacts from the Neolithic period onwards and includes ancient bronzes, ceramics, jade, sculptures, paintings, calligraphy, and furniture. Entry is free, and new exhibits are constantly being added.
China Art Palace
Shaped like a bright-red inverted pyramid, China Art Palace is one of the largest art museums in the country and houses an extensive collection of modern Chinese art. With more than 25 exhibition halls and spanning 700,000 square feet (64,000 square meters), there’s plenty to see here. The main galleries are free, with charges for special exhibitions.
M50 Creative Park
M50 Creative Park is one of Shanghai’s premier destinations for modern and contemporary art. Spanning 36 acres (14.5 hectares), this massive industrial art park is home to more than 100 galleries and art studios. Artists from around the world exhibit a range of art forms, including painting, photography, sculpture, new media, design, and interactive installations.
West Bund Cultural Corridor
Known as Shanghai’s “Museum Mile,” the West Bund Cultural Corridor is home to a world-class collection of museums and galleries, including the Long Museum, Yuz Museum, and the West Bund Art Museum, which includes an outpost of the Pompidou Center. It’s also the site of the annual West Bund Art & Design Fair.
Located in the French Concession, the hip and artsy Tianzifang enclave is comprised of three main lanes intersected by numerous small alleyways. It’s full of art galleries, design studios, stylish boutiques, and unique shops, all housed in traditional Shikumen buildings or converted factory spaces.
Propaganda Poster Art Center
Located in the basement of an apartment in Changning, the Propaganda Poster Art Center is a must-see for anyone with an interest in recent Chinese history and culture. Inside, find more than 5,000 propaganda posters, prints, graffiti, textiles, and artworks from 1949 to 1979.